Contrast between Hancock Whitney (NASDAQ:HWC) and Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR)

Hancock Whitney (NASDAQ:HWCGet a rating) and Invest (NASDAQ: ISTRGet a rating) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We’ll compare the two companies based on earnings strength, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability and risk.

Risk and Volatility

Hancock Whitney has a beta of 1.4, which means its stock price is 40% more volatile than the S&P 500. In comparison, Investar has a beta of 0.46, which means its stock price is 54% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

78.4% of Hancock Whitney shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 56.7% of Investar shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Hancock Whitney shares are held by insiders of the company. By comparison, 10.3% of Investar’s stock is held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership indicates that hedge funds, large fund managers, and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


Hancock Whitney pays an annual dividend of $1.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Investar pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Hancock Whitney pays 18.7% of its earnings as a dividend. Investar pays 22.4% of its profits as a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings over the next few years. Investar has increased its dividend for 8 consecutive years. Hancock Whitney is clearly the best dividend-paying stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.


This table compares the net margins, return on equity and return on assets of Hancock Whitney and Investor.

Net margins Return on equity return on assets
Hancock Whitney 38.60% 14.41% 1.42%
Invest 14.40% 3.54% 0.32%

Valuation and benefits

This table compares the revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation of Hancock Whitney and Investor.

Gross revenue Price/sales ratio Net revenue Earnings per share Price/earnings ratio
Hancock Whitney $1.35 billion 3h30 $463.21 million $5.79 8.94
Invest $107.58 million 2.13 $8.00 million $1.61 14.22

Hancock Whitney has higher revenue and profit than Investar. Hancock Whitney trades at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Investar, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings from Hancock Whitney and Investar, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sales Ratings Hold odds Buy reviews Strong buy odds Rating
Hancock Whitney 0 1 3 1 3.00
Invest 0 1 0 0 2.00

Hancock Whitney currently has a consensus target price of $57.17, indicating a potential upside of 10.38%. Investar has a consensus target price of $22.00, indicating a potential downside of 3.89%. Given Hancock Whitney’s stronger consensus rating and possible higher upside, research analysts clearly believe that Hancock Whitney is more favorable than Investor.


Hancock Whitney beats Investar on 15 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Hancock Whitney

(Get a rating)

Hancock Whitney Corporation operates as a banking holding company for Hancock Whitney Bank which provides a range of banking products and services to commercial, small business and retail customers. It accepts various deposit products, such as non-interest bearing demand deposits, interest bearing transaction accounts, savings accounts, money market deposit accounts and term deposit accounts. The Company’s loan products include commercial and industrial loans; commercial real estate loans; construction and land development loans; residential mortgage loans, including fixed and adjustable rate loans; consumer loans including second mortgage real estate loans, home equity lines of credit and loans for non-residential consumer purposes; revolving credit facilities; and letters of credit and financial guarantees. It also offers investment brokerage and cash management services, as well as annuity and life insurance products; and trust and investment management services to pension plans, businesses and individuals, as well as seized assets. The company operates 177 full-service banking and financial services offices and 240 ATMs, primarily in the Southern Gulf Corridor, including southern and central Mississippi; southern and central Alabama; southern, central, and northwest Louisiana; the North, Central and Panhandle regions of Florida; and parts of East Texas including Houston, Beaumont, Dallas and San Antonio. It also operates a loan origination office in Nashville, Tennessee; and a trust and asset management office in Marshall, Texas. The company was formerly known as Hancock Holding Company and changed its name to Hancock Whitney Corporation in May 2018. Hancock Whitney Corporation was founded in 1883 and is headquartered in Gulfport, Mississippi.

About Investar

(Get a rating)

Investar Holding Corporation operates as a bank holding company for Investar Bank which provides a range of commercial banking products to individuals and small and medium businesses in South Louisiana. The Company offers various deposit products and services, such as individual savings, checking, money market and retirement accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit; debit cards; and mobile banking. It also offers commercial real estate loans; commercial and industrial loans, including working capital lines of credit and equipment loans; loans for the construction of commercial projects and single-family and multi-family residential properties; residential real estate loans for one to four families, such as second mortgages; consumer loans, such as secured and unsecured installment and installment loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, automobile loans, and loans for personal, family and household purposes. In addition, the Company offers cash management products, including remote deposit capture, virtual safe, e-statements, positive payment, ACH issue and wire transfer, cash swipe accounts. investment and internet banking services for businesses. In addition, it provides various other banking services, such as Cashier’s Checks, Direct Deposit of Payroll and Social Security Checks, Night Deposit, Mail Banking, ATM, Automated Teller Machines, Merchant Card and mobile wallet payment services. The company operates through a network of 24 full-service branches. Investar Holding Corporation was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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